Remember when a customer would just walk into a store and buy something? Well, times have changed. Today’s consumers shop across multiple devices and multiple channels.
As a result, retailers need to provide an omnichannel shopping experience where consumers can research, buy and interact with goods across the boundaries of the physical and online worlds. It’s a vital service in today’s highly competitive world of commerce with those businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieving 91 percent greater customer retention rates year-on-year compared to those that don’t.
But connecting your consumer experience is a complex undertaking as customers can switch touchpoints multiple times and for single transactions. For example, a consumer may see a product on a social media channel and then go to your physical store to make the purchase. Alternatively, they may see a product in store, but it isn’t available in their size or style. So, they go online to make the purchase. A consistent experience offering relevant content needs to be readily available for every customer.
Our Content Management System (CMS) enables these cross-channel experiences, empowering retailers to manage content across different channels. Depending on the number of users and amount of content, our CMS backend system can be deployed on a single or multiple ECS instance and our ApsaraDB for POLARDB is used as the default backend database.
Thanks to both these technologies, a superior user experience is provided. Not only does CMS provide multi-channel bandwidth, but ApsaraDB for POLARDB can also auto-scale to up to millions of queries per second and is six times fasters than a standard MySQL database.
What’s more, if a retailer needs to distribute its content around the world, our Content Delivery Network (CDN) supports a millisecond response time and 120Tbps of bandwidth to reduce latency across your network, no matter where your customers are. Coupled with our China Gateway solution, there’s no corner of the globe you can’t reach potential buyers by providing an omnichannel shopping experience with Alibaba Cloud.
Retailers need to empower consumers to not only make omnichannel purchases but also enable cross-channel interactions with their brand.
For example, customers are increasingly creating content for retailers, commonly in the form of online reviews and demos. Such user-generated content helps retailers deliver a positive online presence and build trust in their brand. Using our Object Storage Service (OSS), these media-rich files can be stored on OSS as this content is edited, helping retailers reduce storage costs.
The digital domain can also be brought into physical stores where, for example, assistants armed with tablets can help customers locate products in their desired size or style, arrange a home delivery or just make a purchase without queuing up at the tills.
Smart stores are also increasing in popularity, where consumers interact with the store via their smartphones or in-store electronic screens to research goods, make purchases and access exclusive promotions and information.
Creating an omnichannel shopping experience can seem like a daunting prospect for traditional retailers because their business models are not well adapted to this way of working. This is where Alibaba Cloud can help.
If you would like to find out more about connecting your consumer experience, you can talk to our experts for a custom consultation.
To explore how digital transformation is affecting the retail industry, download the whitepaper Smart Shopping: Digital Transformation Strategies for Retail